Whether you plan on leaving for the short or long term, we will help you plan and save on parking so that you can enjoy your trip the way it was meant to be – worry-free!
When it comes to travelling, we are always left with a thousand different questions.
Who will take care of my dog? Did I turn off the lights before leaving? Will I make my flight on time?!
The internal dialogue is always racing until you reach your destination. On top of that, you still need to figure out how you will get to the airport. While hitching a ride with a friend seems like a great idea, you may not want to leave them with the burden of watching your car while you are away.
Thankfully, there are a few parking options that will keep you less stressed while you are out of your city.
Make sure you also check out our guide on how to save on airport parking for more info on specific Canadian cities!
Offsite Parking vs Traditional Airport Parking: Which Is Better?
If you plan on getting to the airport with your vehicle, your best options would be :
- offsite airport parking
- or traditional airport parking
Offsite parking is a privately-owned parking space located near the airport grounds. In most cases, travellers can park at an offsite location and receive shuttle services to the airport for a set fee.
Traditional airport parking is usually owned and operated by the airports, allowing travellers to park much closer to their terminals. Imagine coming home from your trip and hopping straight into your vehicle. It is certainly convenient, and in the next section, we will look at the pros and cons of these two options.
Benefits of Offsite Parking
Offsite parking is an affordable option for long and short-term parking. Not only are offsite lots close to the airport, but the lots also have cheaper rates than traditional airport parking.
While several companies offer this service, one of the more popular off-airport parking companies is Park’N Fly, with lots located in the vicinity of major airports in Canada, including :
- and Montreal.
You can even earn Aeroplan points for parking at these locations.
Another great benefit of offsite parking is that you can leave your car knowing it is secure.
Many offsite parking lots include high-quality surveillance and 24-hour staffing and are usually fully fenced-in areas with electronically controlled gates. Not to mention that access is limited, so random people are kept from the lot.
Free Shuttle Services
Once you are settled in and have parked your vehicle, Offsite parking lot companies provide free drop-off and pick-up shuttle service that will drive you promptly to an international or domestic airport terminal door.
The Downside of Offsite Airport Parking
Unfortunately, nothing comes without its challenges. Offsite parking is affordable, but one downside to consider is its proximity to the airport. It would be easy to assume that this wouldn’t be a big deal, but you never know what the conditions could be.
Perhaps you leave during a snowy day, and there are issues with the shuttle service. This may be unlikely to happen in most cases, but something to keep in mind.
The lower the cost even more, there is another possibility to use an annual travel credit. It reimburses you the fees of an airport parking fees, like we did for Park’N Fly. All this thanks to the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard !
Traditional Airport Parking
While traditional airport parking comes at a higher cost, you are afforded the luxury of convenience with a short walk to your terminal.
If you want to get in and out of your terminal without hassle or extra time, this could be a great option, especially if you have young children.
It is easy to put your trust in any service that you have used multiple times. We tend to trust our local grocery stores, schools and banks. Using that logic, it would make sense to have trust in an airport parking spot, even if it means doling out a few extra bucks.
If saving money on airport parking interests you, we have a guide for saving on airport parking that you can use to help you save and leverage your rewards points in the process.
The Downside of Traditional Airport Parking
A downside to airport parking is the uncertainty of the environment. You never know the conditions of the airport on the day you decide to travel.
Depending on where you live in Canada, you could come into a hectic day, affecting traffic, parking space availability and your general mood before departing. Any time-saving measures you expected to help these unknown conditions can impact you.
Some credit cards can help you lower the cost of your traditional airport parking. For example, the Visa Infinite Privilege cards such as the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card give you a 10 % discount on valet parking.
Why Not Use Other Transportation Methods?
By this point, you may be asking: Why don’t we use other transportation options like ride-sharing, taxis or public transportation?
Those are valid options and can work for your specific situation. There are some drawbacks to using any of these options, however. Here are some undeniable factors:
1 - Location
The further away you live from the airport, the more of a challenge it becomes to use any of these alternatives.
While it seems obvious to take a cab or an Uber to get to the airport, traffic, pricing, and convenience hurt the value of that experience. When you bring your car, you have total control over when you leave and won’t have to fuss too much about the services received.
2 - Safety of your current parking spot
For those that park in an open lot or live in a sketchy neighbourhood, you, unfortunately, find yourself at risk for break-ins.
It would be unfortunate to experience something happen to your car while you are thousands of kilometres away. Damage can certainly occur to you while parking offsite or in airport parking, but the likelihood is much lower.
3 - Peace of Mind
A car is an integral part of many people’s everyday life. You use it to go to work, see friends and family and do daily activities.
The last thing you want to be thinking about is the safety of your vehicle while you are away. If you have a garage, it is understandable to use any alternative transportation services. For others with a lot of luggage, family or additional concerns, leaving your car unattended would just make you stressed.
So which is a better option, offsite or airport parking?
For affordability, it makes more sense to use offsite parking as you can save a few bucks on your short or long-term trip.
On the other hand, you may consider airport parking, given the proximity to the airport. Generally speaking, offsite companies depend on your location. This may also work if you don’t mind spending extra cash. A quick search on ParkSleepFly.com provides your with rates in your area. It will help you determine which works best for you.
Let us know what you think! Would you consider either of these options?